Crelan and Axa Banque merge to form Belgium's fifth largest bank

Crelan and Axa Banque merge to form Belgium's fifth largest bank
Credit: Belga

Crelan and Axa Banque have announced plans to merge into the fifth-largest bank in Belgium.

Taking place in June, Axa Banque will effectively become part of Crelan's pre-existing infrastructure. The new bank will fall behind BNP Paribas Fortis, Belfius, ING and KBC/CBC in terms of size.

Data from approximately 850,000 clients and just over 300 Axa Banque branches will be transferred and integrated into Crelan's computer platform. This operation will take place over one weekend, with the dates yet to be determined.

Crelan says it wants to "leave nothing to chance and carry out the entire operation efficiently and with as little disruption to customers as possible".

Previous issues

The recent integration of Bpost Banque into BNP Paribas Fortis was met with complaints from customers struggling with card issues, blocked accounts and difficulties in accessing the mobile app.

However, the two banks spent the best part of 2023 preparing for the merger by updating and developing applications and ensuring the smoothest transition possible for customers and employees. Former Axa Banque customers will be able to use Crelan's mobile application as soon as the merger weekend concludes.

Crelan views the larger number of branches held by both banks as highly advantageous, especially as they are often located close by to each other. This will allow the bank to "operate with larger branches and branch teams that can serve customers even better while maintaining a local presence".

Crelan purchased Axa Banque Belgium for €691 million in 2021.

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